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Hill v. Goodfellow Top Grade

United States District Court, N.D. California

September 13, 2019

TRINA HILL, Plaintiff,
v.
GOODFELLOW TOP GRADE, Defendant.

          FINAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS

          Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. United States District Judge.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 1

         DUTY OF JURY

         Members of the Jury: Now that you have heard all of the evidence and the arguments of the attorneys, it is my duty to instruct you on the law that applies to this case.

         Each of you has received a copy of these instructions that you may take with you to the jury room to consult during your deliberations.

         It is your duty to find the facts from all the evidence in the case. To those facts you will apply the law as I give it to you. You must follow the law as I give it to you whether you agree with it or not. And you must not be influenced by any personal likes or dislikes, opinions, prejudices, or sympathy. That means that you must decide the case solely on the evidence before you. You will recall that you took an oath to do so.

         Please do not read into these instructions or anything that I may say or do or have said or done that I have an opinion regarding the evidence or what your verdict should be.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 2

         BURDEN OF PROOF-PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE

         When a party has the burden of proving any claim or affirmative defense by a preponderance of the evidence, it means you must be persuaded by the evidence that the claim or affirmative defense is more probably true than not true.

         You should base your decision on all of the evidence, regardless of which party presented it.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 3

         WHAT IS EVIDENCE

         The evidence you are to consider in deciding what the facts are consists of:

1. the sworn testimony of any witness;
2. the exhibits that are admitted into evidence;
3. any facts to which the lawyers have agreed; and
4. any facts that I may instruct you to accept as proved.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 4

         WHAT IS NOT EVIDENCE

         In reaching your verdict, you may consider only the testimony and exhibits received into evidence. Certain things are not evidence, and you may not consider them in deciding what the facts are. I will list them for you:

1. Arguments and statements by lawyers are not evidence. The lawyers are not witnesses. What they may say in their opening statements, closing arguments and at other times is intended to help you interpret the evidence, but it is not evidence. If the facts as you remember them differ from the way the lawyers have stated them, your memory of them controls.
2. Questions and objections by lawyers are not evidence. Attorneys have a duty to their clients to object when they believe a question is improper under the rules of evidence. You should not be influenced by the objection or by the court's ruling on it.
3. Testimony that is excluded or stricken, or that you are instructed to disregard, is not evidence and must not be considered. In addition some evidence may be received only for a limited purpose; when I instruct you to consider certain evidence only for a limited purpose, you must do so and you may not consider that evidence for any other purpose.
4. Anything you may see or hear when the court was not in session is not evidence. You are to decide the case solely on the evidence received at the trial.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 5

         EVIDENCE FOR LIMITED PURPOSE

         Some evidence was admitted only for a limited purpose. When I instructed you that an item of evidence was admitted only for a limited purpose, you must consider it only for that limited purpose and not for any other purpose.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 6

         DIRECT AND CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

         Evidence may be direct or circumstantial. Direct evidence is direct proof of a fact, such as testimony by a witness about what that witness personally saw or heard or did. Circumstantial evidence is proof of one or more facts from which you could find another fact. You should consider both kinds of evidence. The law makes no distinction between the weight to be given to either direct or circumstantial evidence. It is for you to decide how much weight to give to any evidence.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 7

         RULING ON OBJECTIONS

         There are rules of evidence that control what can be received into evidence. When a lawyer asks a question or offers an exhibit into evidence and a lawyer on the other side thinks that it is not permitted by the rules of evidence, that lawyer may object. If I overruled the objection, the question may be answered or the exhibit received. If I sustained the objection, the question cannot be answered, and the exhibit cannot be received. Whenever I sustained an objection to a question, you must ignore the question and must not guess what the answer might have been.

         Sometimes I ordered that evidence be stricken from the record and that you disregard or ignore that evidence. That means when you are deciding the case, you must not consider the stricken evidence for any purpose.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 8

         BENCH CONFERENCES AND RECESSES

         From time to time during the trial, it became necessary for me to talk with the attorneys out of the hearing of the jury, either by having a conference at the bench when the jury was present in the courtroom, or by calling a recess. Please understand that while you were waiting, we were working. The purpose of these conferences is not to keep relevant information from you, but to decide how certain evidence is to be treated under the rules of evidence and to avoid confusion and error.

         Of course, we have done what we could to keep the number and length of these conferences to a minimum. Do not consider my granting or denying a request for a conference as any indication of my opinion of the case or of what your verdict should be.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 9

         IMPEACHMENT EVIDENCE-WITNESS

         The evidence that a witness has lied under oath or given inconsistent testimony may be considered, along with all other evidence, in deciding whether or not to believe the witness and how much weight to give to the testimony of the witness and for no other purpose.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 10

         USE OF INTERROGATORIES

         Evidence was presented to you in the form of answers of one of the parties to written interrogatories submitted by the other side. These answers were given in writing and under oath before the trial in response to questions that were submitted under established court procedures. You should consider the answers, insofar as possible, in the same way as if they were made from the witness stand.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 11

         CHARTS AND SUMMARIES NOT RECEIVED IN EVIDENCE

         Certain charts and summaries not admitted into evidence may have been shown to you in order to help explain the contents of books, records, documents, or other evidence in the case. Charts and summaries are only as good as the underlying evidence that supports them. You should, therefore, give them only such weight as you think the underlying evidence deserves.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 12

         CREDIBILITY OF WITNESSES

         In deciding the facts in this case, you may have to decide which testimony to believe and which testimony not to believe. You may believe everything a witness says, or part of it, or none of it.

         In considering the testimony of any witness, you may take into account:

1. the opportunity and ability of the witness to see or hear or know the things testified to;
2. the witness's memory;
3. the witness's manner while testifying;
4. the witness's interest in the outcome of the case, if any;
5. the witness's bias or prejudice, if any;
6. whether other evidence contradicted the witness's ...

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